Smart Cities ~ not just a council slogan

Filed under Event & Venue, Infrastructure, News ~ by Press on  8 Oct 2019

Symposium launch and dinner at historic Victoria Theatre.

Today is the launch of the Smaller & Smarter Cities: International Symposium at a dinner in Newcastle’s iconic Victoria Theatre.

Keynote speaker is regional development expert, Andrew Beer, who will discuss drivers of economic growth. Professor Beer is a leading authority on growing and developing regions and their cities. His analysis reveals what has worked and what has not worked here and abroad.

Professor Beer’s latest research for the Regional Australia Institute addresses the choice between economic diversification and specialisation. Are we better off fostering economic resilience through development of businesses in new sectors? Or do we focus on building the region’s established unique strengths, such as manufacturing or healthcare?

With case studies from Whyalla in South Australia to Indianapolis in the US and Leeds in the UK, Professor Beer will describe leading practices addressing the drivers of socio-economic growth in regions and their cities globally. He also explores implications for the Hunter.

Professor Beer will join a panel discussion on the Hunter region’s strengths in energy, health and manufacturing. It will be guided by Monica Gibson, Director Regions, Hunter and Central Coast, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.


Tony Wood, Energy Program Director, Grattan Institute

Dr Ramsey Awad, Executive Director of Infrastructure & Planning, Hunter New England Health

Elizabeth Karpiel, General Manager Operations, BlueZone Group.

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